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Obama, McCain extend winning streaks

(CNN) — Wisconsin handed Sen. Barack Obama his ninth consecutive win Tuesday, and Sen. John McCain inched forward on his march to the Republican nomination, picking up two more states.

The change we seek is still months and miles away, Obama said Tuesday night in Houston, Texas.

He’s emerged as the Democratic front-runner over Sen. Hillary Clinton after a split-decision on Super Tuesday two weeks ago.

It is going to take more than big rallies. It is going to require more than rousing speeches … it is going to require something more, because the problem that we face in America today is not the lack of good ideas. It’s that Washington has become a place where good ideas go to die, he said. Watch Obama rally supporters

Obama and Clinton have turned their attention to Ohio and Texas, which hold contests March 4. Early voting began in Texas Tuesday.

In the Republican race, Wisconsin gives McCain at least 13 more delegates; 24 more delegates are to be awarded to the winner of each congressional district.

The remaining three GOP delegates are unpledged Republican National Committee members.

McCain also picked up a win in Washington state’s primary.

McCain and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee were competing for 19 delegates in Washington. Eighteen delegates were awarded earlier in the state’s caucuses.

As Obama has edged ahead of Clinton in the Democratic race, McCain has increasingly directed criticism toward him. Watch how Obama won Wisconsin

I will fight every moment of every day in this campaign to make sure Americans are not deceived by an eloquent but empty call for change, McCain told supporters Tuesday night.

Our purpose is to keep this blessed country free, safe, prosperous and proud, McCain said. Watch McCain thank Wisconsin

CNN estimates McCain has gathered 909 delegates toward the 1,191 needed for the nomination. Huckabee’s has 217.

While the Arizona senator leads by a wide margin in the delegate count, Huckabee said he intends to stay in the race.

Some of you have suggested that the reason I keep going is maybe just there’s some ego trip. Let me assure you — if it were ego, my ego doesn’t enjoy getting these kind of evenings where we don’t win, Huckabee said Tuesday night.

So it’s got to be something more than that, and it is. It’s about convictions and it’s about principles that I dearly, dearly believe in. Watch Huckabee vow to keep fighting

Clinton joined McCain in accusing Obama of lacking specifics as she addressed supporters Tuesday. Check out CNN’s analysis of the results

I want to talk to you about the choice you have in this election and why that choice matters. It is about picking a president who relies not just on words but on work — on hard work to get America back to work, Clinton said in Youngstown, Ohio. Watch Clinton talk about solutions

We can’t just have speeches. We’ve got to have solutions and we need those solutions for America. We’ve got to get America back in the solutions business.

McCain was looking for big wins Tuesday to demonstrate he is starting to unify the Republican party behind his nomination, including conservatives upset by his positions on immigration, campaign finance and other issues.

Clinton and Obama were running a tight race for the Democratic nomination, while on the Republican side, presumptive nominee McCain was hoping voters could help him finally knock his last major rival out of the race. View pictures from the polls and campaign trail

In addition to Wisconsin, Washington state and Hawaii were holding contests Tuesday.

In Washington, election officials were opening ballots in the largely vote-by-mail state. The results will have no impact on how the state’s Democratic delegates will be distributed because the delegate allocation was determined February 9 in the state’s caucuses. Obama beat Clinton, 68 percent to 31 percent.

Obama also was looking for a win in the Hawaii Democratic caucuses, the state where the Illinois senator was born and still has family.

No polling was available for the Hawaii Democratic caucus. The Clinton campaign dispatched Chelsea Clinton, the New York senator’s daughter, to rally support. Obama’s sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, has stumped for her brother.

McCain and Obama have been targeting each other in campaign speeches recently, but Tuesday morning, their wives got into the fray.

As Cindy McCain introduced her husband at a campaign event, she told the crowd I am proud of my country. I don’t know about you, if you heard those words earlier — I am very proud of my country.

The comment seemed to be a response to a remark from Michelle Obama the day before. On Monday, she told a Wisconsin audience that For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country, because it feels like hope is making a comeback…. not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.

After Tuesday’s event, the McCains were asked if the Arizona senator’s wife had been responding to that comment. Cindy McCain did not directly answer the question, responding: I just wanted to make the statement that I have and always will be proud of my country.

Obama leads Clinton in the overall delegate count — 1,294 to 1,234, according to CNN estimates. The estimate includes the support of superdelegates, the party officials and elected officials who are free to vote for any candidate at the party’s national convention. Check out a list of the superdelegates

Ninety-four Democratic delegates were at stake Tuesday.

Both candidates are short of the 2,025 delegates needed to win the nomination, and it is very likely the roughly 800 superdelegates will ultimately decide who will be chosen as the Democratic presidential nominee.
Obama, McCain extend winning streaks – found here.

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February 20, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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